Home affairs committee insists that Cwele investigates contract with EOH

2019-03-05 21:26
Siyabonga Cwele (File, Netwerk24)

Siyabonga Cwele (File, Netwerk24)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

The Portfolio Committee on Home Affairs asked Home Affairs Minister Siyabonga Cwele to investigate a contract between the department and technology company EOH.

EOH had ties with Forensic Data Analysts (FDA), which switched off police systems last year, saying it had not been paid for nearly five months. US tech giant Microsoft has also recently cancelled its contract with EOH after an anonymous whistleblower filed a complaint with investment watchdog the US Securities and Exchange Commission about alleged malfeasance with a defence software deal for the South African Department of Defence. 

The committee heard on Tuesday that there were 15 companies that initially submitted bids. Three companies, including EOH, made the shortlist, but the two other companies did not comply with the bid requirements. 

The contract is for the automated biometric identification system (ABIS), which was launched last year and will eventually replace the home affairs national identity system.

MPs on the committee, from across the political spectrum, called on an investigation into the contract. 

"This contract must be reviewed and cancelled," said ANC MP Maesela Kekana. 

"You can see home affairs is a milking cow," said ANC MP Deborah Raphuti. 

"People become multi-millionaires. Let's investigate."

ANC MP Donald Gumede referred to FDA's Keith Keating.

"Is he involved? Are we dealing with a person who has threatened to withhold information from the state?" he asked. 

Department 'satisfied' with contract

State Information Technology Agency (SITA) CEO Setumo Mohapi said EOH bought FDA, but after the allegations of FDA's alleged corrupt dealings with the police emerged at a meeting of Parliament's Standing Committee on Public Accounts, EOH sold FDA back to its original owners. 

Mohapi said he did not think that FDA had a part in ABIS.

He also said SITA was still embroiled in a court case with FDA.

Committee chairperson Patrick Chauke said: "It's not that we hate a certain company, members raise things when they see a problem.

"Let's just be fair to our country, because we love our country. We can't compromise our country."

DA MP Haniff Hoosen asked Mohapi and acting director general of the Department of Home Affairs Thulani Mavuso to answer yes or no to whether they believed the contract was above board.

Mohapi didn't answer him directly. Mavuso said he was "satisfied" with the contract, but would welcome an investigation.

Cwele said EOH was also involved in a tender that was initially worth half a billion, then R3bn and eventually R9bn.

Mohapi was quick to point out that that contract was cancelled.

Chauke said while the committee didn't want to cause chaos at the department on the eve of elections, it was "not going to be soft on this".  

He said by next week Cwele must have some terms of reference for an investigation. He suggested that they should also look at the Independent Police Investigative Directorate's report on FDA and what national police commissioner Khehla Sitole had to say about the matter.

Read more on:    saps  |  siyabonga cwele
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

 
/News
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.